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Should I shut it down for the year?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
First post. Amazed at the wealth of golf knowledge here.
Can I make the tour by next year?


I am a hack.
37 years old. for the last 10 years I have played a max of 6 or 8 rounds a year but more often 0 or 2.
This year I have played 8 rounds and really am enjoying it. I have decided to play more and commit to getting better. currently I am awful like 150 awful. Best round this year was 122. I can not hit my driver and have lots of iron shots that I top. basically, I don't have a swing and don't understand the swing well enough to even know where to start. every time I stand over the ball is very unique.
I fully understand I need to take lessons. My current schedule does not allow for lessons this summer. I am planning to take lessons this winter.
My question is : Should I shut down my golf for this year until I can take lessons? Will I be ingraining bad habits if I keep playing?

I don't know if it matters but my long term goal is to be a bogey golfer.

Sorry about the rambling and thanks in advance for your advice.

Respectfully,
post #2 of 15

Quite honestly, I would take lessons and play too.

 

Be up front with your instructor and ask him to show you ways to get around the golf course. You might even play "punch shots" or 1/2 shots around the golf course, just trying to do nothing more than hit the ball more solidly than topping them. Your scores will likely improve even if you lose a little distance (half swings often still hit the ball 80% or so as far as a full swing - and if you hit it solidly more often, the end result is MORE distance, not less).

post #3 of 15

I would suggest practice instead of playing if it's frustrating you. Learn the swing in your free time if you're not up for paying for lessons at this time.  I'd suggest learning to swing 1/2 shots for now then work your way back 3/4 to full over time. Spend some time on the practice green learning how to chip(putt), play some short game games(alone or with friends).

 

I wouldn't shut it down. Do something that will ingrain good habits rather than ignore it altogether.  Take a drill you read or watch online to the practice green/range and start there.

post #4 of 15

Find some of those  "All High-Handicappers out drinking beer golf-scrambles"    You'll be playing, without reflecting back on a personal score.  Just think of the scramble as a fun way of practicing.  

 

If you're having that much trouble with contact etc. too,  definitely take some basic lessons, and take what you're told out the range and easier courses in your area, and try to work on those things.

post #5 of 15

Read the threads in the Swing Thoughts section and watch the videos to get a better understanding of what you are trying to improve to.  Then spend some time on a grass range for a couple of weeks to really work on the fundamentals.  I highly recommend the 5 Simple Keys thread.

 

Your first objective of improvement of your full swing it to make good contact with the ball.  This is why Erik suggested punch shots, etc.

 

You can also practice without hitting a ball or being at the range by just practicing proper set up and doing practice swings at home.  Swinging in front of a mirror really helps.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice.
I am actually enjoying the golf even if I am terrible. My only fear is that I am learning bad habits.
My free time available comes up unexpectedly so it is hard right now to get time to set up lessons.
I will watch some swing instruction video to get an idea what to work on until I can start taking lessons.
Great game!
Thanks,
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Quite honestly, I would take lessons and play too.

 

Be up front with your instructor and ask him to show you ways to get around the golf course. You might even play "punch shots" or 1/2 shots around the golf course, just trying to do nothing more than hit the ball more solidly than topping them. Your scores will likely improve even if you lose a little distance (half swings often still hit the ball 80% or so as far as a full swing - and if you hit it solidly more often, the end result is MORE distance, not less).

This is one of the things I've always had a hard time wrapping my head around. So often I'll take a half swing trying to hit a short shot only to watch it go basically as far as a full shot. This is a great tip for helping to get better consistent contact with the ball though, without sacrificing a lot of distance, and since you typically don't really get the full distance from your swing anyway you'll actually be hitting it further than you have before.

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop View Post

This is one of the things I've always had a hard time wrapping my head around. So often I'll take a half swing trying to hit a short shot only to watch it go basically as far as a full shot. This is a great tip for helping to get better consistent contact with the ball though, without sacrificing a lot of distance, and since you typically don't really get the full distance from your swing anyway you'll actually be hitting it further than you have before.

Yeap!  Make sure the "half swings" come from your shoulders rather than your hands and pretty soon these proper-technique half swings will out-drive your old full swings, I would wager.

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieNumNums View Post

I would suggest practice instead of playing if it's frustrating you. Learn the swing in your free time if you're not up for paying for lessons at this time. ...

 

18r,

 

You tried for several years to " learn the swing in your free time..." This obviously didn't work. Take some lessons, and follow the advice to try half swings until you learn how to make good contact.

 

You might get a little extra attention with off-season lessons, as the pro won't be swamped like in warmer weather.

post #10 of 15

just focus on watching the club hit the ball on your driver/irons/chips (keeps your head more still). on putting focus on judging the speed. Do those 2 things and you will improve guaranteed. Lessons are overrated in my opinion. If your just trying to get to bogey golf, just focus on those two basic things and you will get a feel for what adjustments you need to make.

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by 18rounds View Post

First post. Amazed at the wealth of golf knowledge here.
Can I make the tour by next year?


I am a hack.
37 years old. for the last 10 years I have played a max of 6 or 8 rounds a year but more often 0 or 2.
This year I have played 8 rounds and really am enjoying it. I have decided to play more and commit to getting better. currently I am awful like 150 awful. Best round this year was 122. I can not hit my driver and have lots of iron shots that I top. basically, I don't have a swing and don't understand the swing well enough to even know where to start. every time I stand over the ball is very unique.
I fully understand I need to take lessons. My current schedule does not allow for lessons this summer. I am planning to take lessons this winter.
My question is : Should I shut down my golf for this year until I can take lessons? Will I be ingraining bad habits if I keep playing?

I don't know if it matters but my long term goal is to be a bogey golfer.

Sorry about the rambling and thanks in advance for your advice.

Respectfully,

 

I see no reason to shut it down.  You can't get better if you don't play, and you say you enjoy the game, so why stop playing? 

 

Lessons are great for many but not a magic pill either.  Lots of people do improve as they gain experience, even without lessons.  There is so much great info in books and online/youtube that I can't see the point of not working on some basic things now until you get a chance to take lessons next year. 

 

At least where I live, Aug-Oct is probably the best weather of the year for golfing.  Silly to waste it because you think you'll get bad habits by playing.  Trust me you are not going to forever ruin your swing if you go out and play. 

 

Also time at the driving range might be helpful as you can focus on individual things like grip, stance, half-swings, solid contact, etc. without the pressure of an actual round.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Quite honestly, I would take lessons and play too.

 

Be up front with your instructor and ask him to show you ways to get around the golf course. You might even play "punch shots" or 1/2 shots around the golf course, just trying to do nothing more than hit the ball more solidly than topping them. Your scores will likely improve even if you lose a little distance (half swings often still hit the ball 80% or so as far as a full swing - and if you hit it solidly more often, the end result is MORE distance, not less).

 

This. Absolutely this.

 

Using a half swing drill yesterday, I hit my driver 250 yards off the tee with no roll out, it was right next to the ball mark. It's amazing what happens when you think you're slowing down your swing, or think you're shortening it...

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post

 

This. Absolutely this.

 

Using a half swing drill yesterday, I hit my driver 250 yards off the tee with no roll out, it was right next to the ball mark. It's amazing what happens when you think you're slowing down your swing, or think you're shortening it...

 

I am going to try this next time I get out.  Whenever I address the ball, my brain screams "crush it!" and bad results follow.  If I'm consciously trying to only use a half swing, maybe I can override the "crush it" thoughts.

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by krupa View Post

 

I am going to try this next time I get out.  Whenever I address the ball, my brain screams "crush it!" and bad results follow.  If I'm consciously trying to only use a half swing, maybe I can override the "crush it" thoughts.

 

Funny thing is, if someone videotaped it, it probably would have looked like a full swing with great tempo and good clubhead speed...it just felt short and smooth.

post #15 of 15

Make sure you know the fundamentals , what you SHOULD be doing . Then spend more time at a range where you can hit off grass vs mats  and hit off real tees vs the rubber ones . Experiment , with your grip , stance , distance from the ball, ball position etc , to see how you make best contact . When you do go to the course , don't worry about a score , concentrate on hitting some good shots . Don't ever give up .

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